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Tag Archive: Detroit


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James Craig

Linked

James Craig

Chief of Police, Detroit Police Department

Detroit, MichiganLaw Enforcement……………………………………………………………………………….

Detroit News

Police Chief Craig: Armed Detroiters cut terror risk

The city’s police chief said he believes violent extremists would be reluctant to target Detroit, as they had Paris last month, for fear armed citizens would shoot back.

“A lot of Detroiters have CPLs (concealed pistol licenses), and the same rules apply to terrorists as they do to some gun-toting thug,” Chief James Craig said. “If you’re a terrorist, or a carjacker, you want unarmed citizens.”

Oakland University criminal justice professor Daniel Kennedy agreed that terrorists would be reluctant to attack armed citizens.

“We don’t have laboratories where we can test these theories, but there is something to the argument that terrorists want a high body count — and if they can only shoot a few people before they’re taken out themselves, it wouldn’t have the kind of impact they want.

“An armed citizen won’t give them a high body count. Look at the theater in Paris,” the Bataclan Café, where four men with AK-47 assault rifles killed 89 people during a rock concert. “If some of those people had been armed, it would’ve been a much different story.”

Although no specific threats have been identified, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security last week released a bulletin to 18,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide, warning there could be attacks similar to the Nov. 13 terrorist strikes in Paris that killed 130 people.

 

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Friday, 04 December 2015

Detroit Police Chief: Terrorists Want Unarmed Citizens

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Following the Paris attacks, Detroit police chief James Craig (shown) reiterated his policy of encouraging his citizens to continue to arm themselves:

A lot of Detroiters have CPLs (concealed pistol licenses), and the same rules apply to terrorists as they do to some gun-toting thug: if you’re a terrorist, or a carjacker, you want unarmed citizens.

Since his arrival in Detroit in 2012, Craig has seen his citizens heed his call and has simultaneously seen violent crime fall significantly. Seven thousand of them received their CPLs the year after Craig took over, and another 7,500 were added to the rolls a year later. At present nearly one in every 20 Detroiters is carrying concealed.

Added Craig:

If you look at what happened in Paris, I’m not saying if more citizens had had guns it would have stopped the terrorists. But it sure might have helped.

If you’re sitting in a restaurant, and you aren’t allowed to have a gun, what are you supposed to do if someone comes in there shooting at you? Throw a fork at them?

Oakland University criminal justice professor Daniel Kennedy agreed with Craig:

We don’t have laboratories where we can test these theories, but there is something to the argument that terrorists want a high body count. And if they can only shoot a few people before they’re taken out themselves, it wouldn’t have the kind of impact they want.

On 60 Minutes last week, Washington, D.C.’s police chief Cathy Lanier urged her citizens who carry to “take the gunman out” if they are threatened:

If you’re in a position to try and take the gunman down, to take the gunman out, it’s the best option for saving lives before the police can get there.

Former New York City police detective and popular media personality Bo Dietl was much more direct: “On my hip I’ve got a 9 mm Glock, so I’m prepared if something happens. If everyone was prepared … maybe we’d have fewer casualties. Domestic terrorists hit places where they don’t think they’ll get much resistance, like movie theaters. Whoever is able to carry a gun legally, it would help.”

 

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Macomb County man David Stojcevski died of drug withdrawal and neglect as officials ignored his plight.

Macomb County

Local 4 / clickondetroit

It was a death sentence.

David Stojcevski, a 32-year-old resident of Roseville, Michigan, was arrested for failing to pay a $772 fine stemming from careless driving. A court ordered him to spend a month in the Macomb County jail.

Over the next 17 days of his incarceration in a brightly lit cell—where he was denied clothing—he lost 50 pounds, suffered convulsions, and eventually began to hallucinate. He died in agony, from a combination of obvious, untreated drug withdrawal and galling neglect.

Making matters worse (if anything could be worse than that), the entirety of his demise was captured on jail surveillance footage. Indeed, Stojcevski was under self-harm watch—stemming for a profound misdiagnosis of his condition, which was drug addiction, not mental instability—and jail officials were supposed to be watching him constantly. Either their vigilance was inadequate, or they watched and simply didn’t care.

WDIV’s report on the story is a must-see, though it’s highly disturbing: the video shows clips from the jail footage while a medical expert offers commentary on the inhumanity of Stojcevski’s treatment.

 

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Detroit Boy with Cancer Becomes Police Chief for a Day

02/01/2014 at 03:00 PM EST

Detroit Boy with Cancer Becomes Police Chief for a Day
Jayvon Felton
Courtesy of Amy Lange

It’s a tough job being police chief of Detroit. But that’s the dream gig a young cancer patient got to experience for a day, when he stepped up to stand watch over his beloved Motor City on Friday.

Jayvon Felton, 9, learned he had acute lymphoblastic leukemia last April, and while his treatments have been tough and he faces three years of chemotherapy, his bright spirit has not been dimmed.

Wearing a small navy S.W.A.T. uniform bearing his name and a shiny gold badge, Jayvon was picked up at home in a police cruiser, treated to a ride-along and then dropped off by helicopter to meet the real city police chief, James Craig, who helped swear the boy into office, the Huffington Post reports.

His personality shone through when he conducted his own police press conference. “You got any orders?” Chief Craig joked. “Take the day off,” Jayvon quickly responded.

His mom said that while some children idolize celebrities, her boy admires law enforcement officers.

“When he was little, he always talked about the police, how they make things safe,” Amanda Clinkscales said. “He told me, ‘Mom, when I get older I want to fight crime and help people.’ ”

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NBC News

Young leukemia patient serves as Detroit police chief for a day

Motor City had a new police chief on Friday, as a young boy with leukemia had a lifelong dream fulfilled by serving as honorary “Chief for a Day.”

Nine-year-old fourth-grader Jayvon Felton was celebrated in a ceremony coordinated by Detroit police Capt. Darwin Roche. Jayvon, who was diagnosed with leukemia in April, was decked out in a blue S.W.A.T. uniform, complete with a gold badge and officer’s cap.

Jayvon arrived by helicopter and was then ihntroduced to a group of officers, police dogs, classmates, Detroit mascots and family, according to The Associated Press.

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breakingtheset breakingtheset

Published on Dec 9, 2013

Abby Martin speaks with Richard Wolff, economist and Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts about the recent district court ruling on Detroit’s bankruptcy and how it could affect the pensions of thousands of city workers.

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How the Super-Rich Are Abandoning America

 

As they accumulate more and more wealth, the very rich have less need for society. At the same time, they’ve convinced themselves that they made it on their own, and that contributing to societal needs is unfair to them. There is ample evidence that this small group of takers is giving up on the country that made it possible for them to build huge fortunes.

Photo: luna715/cc/flickr1. They’ve Taken $25 Trillion of New Wealth While Paying Less Taxes

The 2013 Global Wealth Databook shows that U.S. wealth has increased from $47 trillion in 2008 to $72 trillion in mid-2013. But according to U.S. Government Revenue figures, federal income taxes have gone DOWN from 2008 to 2012. Even worse, corporations cut their tax rate in half.

American society has gained nothing from its massive wealth expansion. There’s no wealth tax, no financial transaction tax, no way to ensure that infrastructure and public education are supported.

Just how much have the super-rich taken over the past five years? Each of the elite 5% — the richest 12 million Americans — gained, on average, nearly a million dollars in financial wealth between 2008 and 2013.

2. For the First Time in History, They Believe They Don’t Need the Rest of Us

The rich have always needed the middle class to work in their factories and buy their products. With globalization this is no longer true. Their factories can be in China, producing goods for people in India or Europe or anywhere else in the world.

They don’t need our infrastructure for their yachts and helicopters and submarines. They pay for private schools for their kids, private security for their homes. They have private emergency rooms to avoid the health care hassle. All they need is an assortment of servants, who might be guest workers coming to America on H2B visas, willing to work for less than a middle-class American can afford.

The sentiment is spreading from the super-rich to the merely rich. In 2005 Sandy Springs, a wealthy suburb of Atlanta, stopped paying for most public services, deciding instead to avoid subsidizing poorer residents of Fulton County by hiring a “city outsourcer” called CH2M to manage everything except the police and fire departments. That includes paving the roads, running the courts, issuing tickets, handling waste, and various other public services. Several other towns followed suit.

Results have been mixed, with some of CH2M’s clients backing out or renegotiating. But privatization keeps coming at us. Selective decisions about public services threaten to worsen already destitute conditions for many communities. Detroit, of course, is at the forefront. According to an Urban Land Institute report, “more municipalities may follow Detroit’s example and abandon services in certain districts.”

3. They Soaked the Middle Class, and Now Demand Cuts in the Middle-Class Retirement Fund

The richest Americans take the greatest share of over $2 trillion in Tax Expenditures, Tax Underpayments, Tax Haven holdings, and unpaid Corporate Taxes.

The Social Security budget is less than half of that. Yet much of Congress and many other wealthy Americans think it should be cut. These are the same people who deprive the American public of $300 billion a year by not paying their full share of the payroll tax.

4. They Continue to Insist that They “Made It on Their Own”

They didn’t. Their fortunes derived in varying degrees – usually big degrees – from public funding, which provided almost half of basic research funds into the 1980s, and even today supports about 60 percent of the research performed at universities.

Businesses rely on roads and seaports and airports to ship their products, the FAA and TSA and Coast Guard and Department of Transportation to safeguard them, a nationwide energy grid to power their factories, communications towers and satellites to conduct online business, the Department of Commerce to promote and safeguard global markets, the U.S. Navy to monitor shipping lanes, and FEMA to clean up after them.

Apple, the tax haven specialist, still does most of its product and research development in the United States, with US-educated engineers and computer scientists. Google’s business is based on the Internet, which started as ARPANET, the Defense Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency computer network from the 1960s. The National Science Foundation funded the Digital Library Initiative research at Stanford University that was adopted as the Google model. Microsoft was started by our richest American, Bill Gates, whose success derived at least in part by taking the work of competitors and adapting it as his own. Same with Steve Jobs, who admitted: “We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.”

Companies like Pfizer and Merck have relied on basic research performed at the National Institute of Health. A Congressional Budget Office study reminds us that The primary rationale for the government to play a role in basic research is that private companies perform too little such research themselves (relative to what is best for society).

5. As a Final Insult, Many of Them Desert the Country that Made Them Rich

Many of the beneficiaries of American research and technology have abandoned their country because of taxes. Like multinational companies that rationalize the move by claiming to be citizens of the world, almost 2,000 Americans, and perhaps up to 8,000, have left their responsibilities behind for more favorable tax climates.

The most egregious example is Eduardo Saverin, who found safe refuge in the U.S. after his family was threatened in Brazil, landed Mark Zuckerberg as a roommate at Harvard, benefited from American technology to make billions from his 4% share in Facebook, and then skipped out on his tax bill.

An Apt Summary?

Bernard Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot and member of the Forbes 400, had this to say about any American who might object to all the greed: “Who gives a crap about some imbecile?”

Paul Buchheit

Paul Buchheit is a college teacher, an active member of US Uncut Chicago, founder and developer of social justice and educational websites (UsAgainstGreed.org, PayUpNow.org, RappingHistory.org), and the editor and main author of “American Wars: Illusions and Realities” (Clarity Press). He can be reached at paul@UsAgainstGreed.org.

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Trial to examine if Detroit eligible in bankruptcy

The Miami Herald

FILE – This Oct. 24, 2012 file photo shows a graffiti-marked abandoned home north of downtown Detroit, in background. Thousands of Detroit streetlights are dark, many more residents have fled. Donors are replacing ambulances that limped around for 200,000 miles. Detroit’s bankruptcy case is going to trial, Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2013, and the result will determine whether the city can reshape itself in the largest public bankruptcy filing in U.S. history. Carlos Osorio, File / AP Photo

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Associated Press

The city of Detroit for months has disclosed the awful condition of its finances. Now it’s up to a judge to determine if the largest public bankruptcy in U.S. history really can go forward.

An unusual trial starts Wednesday, pitting Detroit’s emergency manager and his legal team against unions and pension funds that claim the city isn’t qualified to scrub its books clean under Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

A city isn’t eligible for a bankruptcy makeover unless it shows that key steps were met, especially good-faith talks with creditors earlier this year. It’s a critical decision for Judge Steven Rhodes: If Detroit clears the hurdle, the case then would quickly turn to how to solve at least $18 billion in debt and get city government off the ropes.

“It’s a crucial point in the case,” said lawyer Chuck Tatelbaum, a bankruptcy expert in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “There will be others, but this is the go or no-go. … If there was ever a poster child for what Congress decided when they enacted Chapter 9, it’s for a city like this.”

Jim Spiotto, a bankruptcy expert in Chicago, said it’s “virtually impossible” to argue that Detroit is solvent.

“They’re not paying their debts,” he said. “Look at their blighted areas. Look at their services.”

Nonetheless, unions and pension funds are challenging Detroit on the eligibility question. They claim emergency manager Kevyn Orr, who acquired nearly unfettered control over city finances following his appointment by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, was not genuinely interested in negotiating when they met with his team in June and July. Orr insists pension funds are short $3.5 billion and health coverage also needs to be overhauled.

 

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Detroit faces crucial trial three months after bankruptcy filing

An unusual trial starting Wednesday to determine whether Detroit may scrub its books in the largest public bankruptcy in US history

  • theguardian.com, Tuesday 22 October 2013 14.27 EDT
Detroit river

Detroit isn’t eligible for a makeover unless a judge finds that key steps have been met, especially good-faith talks with creditors earlier this year. Photo: Jason Reed/Reuters

Thousands of Detroit streetlights are dark. Many more residents have fled. Donors are replacing ambulances that limped around for 200,000 miles. Millions in debt payments have been skipped.

Is there really any doubt the city is broke?

A judge starts exploring that question Wednesday in an unusual trial to determine whether Detroit indeed is eligible to scrub its books in the largest public bankruptcy in US history. Unions and pension funds are claiming the city failed to negotiate in good faith before filing for chapter 9 protection in July.

A city isn’t eligible for a makeover unless a judge finds that key steps have been met, especially good-faith talks with creditors earlier this year. It’s a critical decision: If Detroit clears the hurdle, the case would quickly turn to how to solve at least $18bn in debt and get city government out of intensive care.

“It’s a crucial point in the case,” said lawyer Chuck Tatelbaum, a bankruptcy expert in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “There will be others, but this is the go or no-go … If there was ever a poster child for what Congress decided when they enacted chapter 9, it’s for a city like this.”

Jim Spiotto, another bankruptcy expert in Chicago, said it’s “virtually impossible” to argue that Detroit is solvent.

“They’re not paying their debts,” he said. “Look at their blighted areas. Look at their services.”

Nonetheless, unions and pension funds are challenging Detroit on the eligibility question. They claim emergency manager Kevyn Orr, who acquired nearly unfettered control over city finances following his appointment by Michigan governor Rick Snyder, was not genuinely interested in negotiating when they met with his team in June and July. Orr insists pension funds are short $3.5bn and health coverage also needs to be overhauled.

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ReasonTV

Published on Sep 17, 2013

“Someone breaks in, they never show up. Yet still, they want to come and blackball you and close your business,” says Derek Little, owner of an auto shop along Detroit’s Livernois Avenue.

He’s one of many business owners in Detroit who’s faced what he says amounts to harassment from the city’s overzealous code enforcement. Amidst a bankruptcy and a fast-dwindling population and tax base, the city has prioritized the task of ensuring that all businesses are in compliance with its codes and permitting. To accomplish this, Mayor David Bing announced in January that he’d assembled a task force to execute Operation Compliance.

Operation Compliance began with the stated goal of shutting down 20 businesses a week. Since its inception, Operation Compliance has resulted in the closure of 383 small businesses, with another 536 in the “process of compliance,” according to figures provided to Reason TV by city officials.

But business owners say that Operation Compliance unfairly targets small, struggling businesses in poor areas of town and that the city’s maze of regulations is nearly impossible to navigate, with permit fees that are excessive and damaging to businesses running on thin profit margins.

“It is hard to run a business in Detroit. It’s taken me three years to get approval for an outside patio,” says Larry Mongo, who runs Cafe D’Mongo’s Speakeasy a successful bar and restaurant in downtown Detroit.

While Cafe D’Mongo’s is now well-established and successful, Mongo says that the inscrutable regulations, frustrating bureaucracy, and rampant corruption among city officials discourages many would-be entrepreneurs from ever pursuing their business ideas in the city.

“What about the person starting out? The reputation that they give their relatives, their cousins, their friends… They say, ‘Hey, don’t [start a business]. They rob you,'” says Mongo.

Operation Compliance is but one manifestation of a larger problem in Detroit says Michael LaFaive, Director of the Mackinac Center in Michigan. That problem is a local government more focused on collecting revenue and maintaining municipal worker jobs than it is on creating a business-friendly environment.

“Accidentally, the city has created sort of an anarchistic culture in the city, where many entrepreneurs, where many of the smaller retailers and entrepreneurs simply forgo getting the required permits,” says LaFaive. “So entrepreneurs have said, ‘Look, let them catch me if they can.’ Right now, the city has decided, ‘We’re going to try to catch you, and we’re going to put together a special unit to do so.'”

Officials from the city of Detroit did not respond to requests to be interviewed for this story.

Approximately 5 minutes. Produced by Zach Weissmueller. Shot by Tracy Oppenheimer and Weissmueller.

Visit http://reason.com/reasontv for downloadable versions of this video, and don’t forget to subscribe to Reason TV’s Youtube channel for more content like this.

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On Aug. 29, 2013, a new 2014 Ford Fusion is displayed on the line in Flatrock, Mich.

On Aug. 29, 2013, a new 2014 Ford Fusion is displayed on the line in Flatrock, Mich.

AP
LAT ROCK, Mich. (AP) — For the first time, Ford is making its Fusion sedan in the U.S.The company’s Flat Rock, Mich., plant began making the Fusion on Thursday. The plant, which is about 25 miles south of Detroit, made the Ford Mustang sports car before getting a second shift of 1,400 workers to make the Fusion. The 66-acre plant now has 3,100 workers.Ford Motor Co. had been making around 250,000 Fusions each year at its plant in Hermosillo, Mexico. But that wasn’t keeping up with demand for the hot-selling midsize sedan, which was revamped last year. Sales this year are up 13 percent to 181,668 through July, making the Fusion one of the best-selling cars in the country.”We could have sold more if we had more,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas, told a cheering crowd of workers at the plant.

With the production at Flat Rock, Ford will be able to make 350,000 Fusions each year. Hinrichs said the cars being made Thursday would likely be sold within two weeks, a much faster rate than the 60-day average for the industry.

The Flat Rock plant was built by Mazda Motor Co. in 1987 and became a joint venture with Ford in 1992. When Ford and Mazda severed ties in 2010, the fate of the Flat Rock plant was uncertain.

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Late last year the Securities and Exchange Commission approved a plan that will allow JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) and BlackRock, Inc (NYSE:BLK) to buy as much as 80 percent of the copper available on the market. Many saw this as a dangerous precedent that would artificially inflate copper prices and leave the power of the copper market in the hands of only a few.

It appears that Goldman Sachs is attempting a similar move with aluminum, the price of which has almost doubled since 2010. Goldman owns 27 warehouses in Detroit that store around 1.5 million tons of aluminum that is owned by customers. The problem, those customers say, is the 16-month waiting time to have their aluminum shipped to processing plants that make anything from cans to car parts.

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democracynow democracynow·

Published on Jul 25, 2013

http://www.democracynow.org – Kicking off a series of speeches about the economy, President Obama told a crowd in Illinois on Wednesday that reversing growing inequality and rejuvenating the middle class “has to be Washington’s highest priority.” During his remarks, Obama failed to mention the bankruptcy filing by Detroit, where thousands of public workers are now fighting to protect their pensions and medical benefits as the city threatens massive cuts to overcome an estimated $18 billion in debt. Detroit’s bankruptcy “is an example of a failed economic system,” says economist Richard Wolff, professor emeritus of economics at University of Massachusetts. “There are so many other cities in Detroit’s situation, that if the courts decide that it is legal to take away the pension that has been promised to and paid for by these workers, you have [legalized] theft. It is class war, redistributing income from the bottom to the top.”

Read Transcripts Here

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